After recent disappointments it was with a sense of trepidation that I approached Swindon yesterday morning and saw the increasingly snowy landscape. The further north I drove, and the higher in altitude I got, it was getting clearer and clearer that our planned route was not rideable. It was only drivable because I was in a 4x4, and the lovely 12% straight-line descent on a country back road had about 4 inches of fresh snow on it.
It was the Mayor's birthday ride, and being as how she decided to be born in March, you know Springtime, we should have been OK. But this year the weather gods have decided there will be no Spring, and I'm not holding much hope for Summer to be honest, so some hasty re-working of the route was called for.
Luckily I know the area, the Swindon area, well. And as the event had drawn a dozen characters and cyclists from all parts, including one that I "encouraged" to battle down from a snowy Telford., I felt a sense of moral obligation to get a ride going. Which we did, sticking to mostly main roads, which weren't as busy as I had feared they might be.
But my, it was cold. The nominal temperature was just above the 0C point, but the biting easterly wind cut through all 12 of my layers. I did my best to put some semblance of group-ness together through the ride, and there were also a few scenic stretches, where snow had frozen to trees in snow tunnels. It's always good to cycle with new people and they were a great crowd. The coffee stop in a converted Church in Marlborough proved a hit too, and we had a good time in the evening with a meal and a few drinks.
I think the Mayor enjoyed herself, although sometimes it's hard to tell.
For someone who goes round taking pictures of everyone else, she is remarkably shy in front of a camera. What I would really like to see is some SPD-SL cleats on the footwear she wore in the evening, that would be impressive!
But to be fair, the weekend was her inspiration, and she drew all these cyclists to come and ride with her. Not many people can inspire others. She does.
All in all a good day out, I hope we can do more like that when times are easier and certainly warmer!
Here is the route for the majority of the population not linked to me via Garmin. And here it is for the other two of you.
Thank you to everyone for coming and giving me such an enjoyable weekend. It was a very welcome and lovely weekend for me.
Today, some good news. I finally found two people that told me I looked good in these glasses. My eyesight has deteriorated marginally, I was pondering a change of image, along the lines of himself. No, not Nick Robinson, Mark Cavendish of course.
Over the course of two days, all 127 people I asked, said they didn't suit me. Now, these two that disagreed are also "young people" who all know a thing or two about fashion. They are also related to me, and quite used to telling people what they want to hear. Oh well, what do you think?
Or maybe think about something more important instead.